Search

Bird watchers flock to Snettisham as snowy owl makes ‘extremely rare’ visit to Norfolk

PUBLISHED: 17:14 11 March 2018 | UPDATED: 08:29 12 March 2018

A photo of the snowy owl taken on Scolt Head Island on March 9, 2018. Photo: Baz Scampion

A photo of the snowy owl taken on Scolt Head Island on March 9, 2018. Photo: Baz Scampion

Archant

A snowy owl has made an “extremely rare” visit to Norfolk this weekend - thousands of miles away from its usual feeding ground.

A snowy owl has made a rare visit to Norfok this weekend. Picture: Matthew Usher.A snowy owl has made a rare visit to Norfok this weekend. Picture: Matthew Usher.

A snowy owl made an “extremely rare” visit to Norfolk over the weekend - thousands of miles away from its usual feeding ground.

The birds usually live in the far north around the Arctic circle and rarely venture south of northern Scotland.

But the RSPB has today confirmed a female snowy owl - made famous as Harry Potter’s owl, Hedwig - has been spotted at Snettisham in West Norfolk.

The charity said hundreds of bird watchers gathered at the reserve, as well as at Titchwell Marsh to catch a glimpse.

A spokesman for the RSPB said: “These strikingly white birds are more commonly found in the high Arctic tundra rather than the coastal regions of Britain.

“During winter months they can migrate southwards looking for food sources and it’s possible that this bird came from Scandinavia or even as far away as Canada with the recent snap of cold weather.”

Unlike other species of owl, snowy owls are active during daylight hours and may be seen gliding low over ground looking for small mammals such as voles or event rabbits.

The birds are content to sit still for long periods of time, either on a low perch or boulder, making them ideal for wildlife fans.

The news of the snowy owl’s arrival was broadcast through the birding community and within hours, people started to arrive from all over Norfolk and beyond, the RSPB said.

Graham Minster, from Swindon, Wiltshire, left home at 4am to drive the 170 miles to see the bird. He said: “I never imagined I would see a snowy owl in person. She is a beautiful bird and worth every minute it took me to get here.”

A member of staff at the Snettisham nature reserve said: “They [the snowy owl] are extremely rare visitors here.”

• Do you have pictures of the snowy owl? Email luke.powell@archant.co.uk

Other news

07:58

Summer is seriously over, as the Met Office announces temperatures in the east of England will reach a maximum of 13C this weekend.

Yesterday, 16:44

South West Norfolk MP Elizabeth Truss championed Norwich City on a visit to the US as part of efforts to woo an American football team to relocate to the UK.

Yesterday, 16:21

A father whose two sons rely on one of the 46 children’s centres under threat of closure has urged people to make their voices heard over the controversial proposals.

Yesterday, 15:13

Airy open carriages, free fast wifi and a USB point for every passenger – Greater Anglia have unveiled the inside of their new regional trains.

Most Read

Yesterday, 13:45

The first residents have moved into new affordable homes in Narborough, near Swaffham, which are part of a £4.3 million investment project.

Read more
Breckland Council
Thu, 18:30

People fear their town is “dying” after it was announced that one of its two banks is closing.

Read more
Post Office
Yesterday, 15:07

Ever since that fateful day in June 2016, questions have been asked over just what the people of the United Kingdom - and Norfolk - had voted for.

Read more
European Union
Tuesday, February 27, 2018

An animal charity volunteer is hoping to have her most successful rehoming event.

Read more
Facebook
Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Police investigating a robbery which saw a teenager stripped of her boots and jumpers have released this image of a man they would like to speak to in connection with the crime.

Read more

Local Weather

Sunshine and Showers

Sunshine and Showers

max temp: 14°C

min temp: 9°C

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Watton and Swaffham Times e-edition today
E-edition

Show Job Lists

Newsletter Sign Up

Watton and Swaffham Times weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy